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MEMORY LANE - PAGE 4
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LUNAR LANDER (1979)

Lunar Lander Arcade Game
 

Lunar Lander was a vector graphics game (like Asteroids) released by Atari in 1979.  Although it was not as successful as Asteroids, it was still available in various places that we frequented.  We remember this game being very challenging to play.  The objective of Lunar Lander was to pilot a lunar landing module as it touches down on the moon’s surface.  As the lander comes down, the terrain of the moon is very rough, and there only a few places to touch down.  The tighter the landing surface, the more points the player was awarded.  The lander’s trajectory was essentially controlled by a series of buttons that both aimed the nose of the lander, and controlled the strength and duration of rocket bursts.  Play would continue until the lander ran out of gas, or the player inserted additional coinage for more fuel.

Some of you may remember playing an arcade game called Lunar Rescue by Taitio.  Lunar Rescue was also released in 1979, and it was essentially a cross between Lunar Lander and Space Invaders.  There were some versions of Lunar Lander released for home consoles.  Many of you might remember a knock-off version for the Commodore 64 title “Jupiter Lander”.  There are number of free versions out there these days for phones and browsers.   

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